I'm Walt. And I'm Marie Elena.
This is the collaboration of two kindred spirits; partners in rhyme;
"the best friends we've never met."
All "Across the Lake. Eerily."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


One of the quintuplets nestled,
dividing countries and states.
Friendship awaits at every crash
of lunacy's pull. Waves across the water,
shore-to-shore in a connection,
eerie and complete. We join daily
in an exchange of written wonder,
falling under its spell.
Person-to-person, Toledo-to-Buffalo,
on opposing shores a kinship blooms.


Saturday, July 16, 2011


I am resurrecting an old piece of mine, because this happens to be the weekend of this festival.  I envy my relatives who still live in the area, and can attend at will.  Save some cheese puffs for me, guys!  And thanks to Chris for helping me with a few of the details.


I’m scorching hot. My clothes cling to me in the smothering humidity. Add to that the people-laden, sticky black tar church parking lot without a shade tree in sight. Ugh.

Yet, the air is saturated with inviting aromas: potent garlic; sweet onion; roasted peppers; spicy Italian sausage; yeast bread rolls; sweet dough twists with cinnamon sugar; cotton candy … and cheese puffs. My cousin Tom and I make a beeline for the deep-fried sweet dough filled with ooey gooey cheese. Yummmmm!

We race toward the Ferris wheel, dodging through the crammed masses and attractions. My nostrils are suddenly assaulted with the fishy stench of smelt. Eew. This booth boasts a line of cuffed pants; brimmed hats; men’s black shoes; and long-sleeved shirts soaked with sweat, each revealing the standard white muscle T beneath. These older Italian men puff cigars (again, eew!) and pass the time in line playing the loud, fast-paced game of Morra.

“Quatro!” (four!)

“Sette!” (seven!)

“Otto di fuoco!” (eights on fire!)

Roars of laughter rise with the cigar smoke above the cacophony of festival sounds.

From a game booth, a hoarse female voice hails, “Roll down, roll down! Six tries for a dollar!”

Various carnival rides summon as well: Creeeek … screeeeeech … tic, tic … whoooosh!

A button accordion pumps out a Polka, accompanied by the “oom pah” of a tuba. We pause to watch smiling couples bob as they step, quick-step, step, hold their way around a make-shift dance floor.

We spot Nonna at the Bingo Tent with an array of cards spread before her, fervently trying to win an “Infant of Prague.” This uniquely Catholic carnival prize is a plaster figure of the jewel-crowned infant Jesus, clothed magnificently in a robe of rich red, royal blue, or gold. Game booths and tents flaunt eye-catching displays of the satiny fabrics, glistening jewels, and outstretched arms of the holy infant. I feel the contrast of Nonna's satiny cheeks and stiffly sprayed hair as she pulls us close, and presses a quarter into each of our palms.

Continuing to the Ferris wheel, a small stand topped with a six-foot twirling glass of yellow lemonade beckons. Soon soothing icy lemon slush slides down the back of my throat.

I nurse my treat while in line for our ride. Cold sweat drips off the cup into my sandals, and squishes between my toes. A silvery car grinds its way to the bottom of the giant spoked wheel. We hop on, my bare legs sticking to the hot metal seat. Tom slams the safety bar shut, and we rock precariously forward and back.

The car jerks and jolts as we inch up a notch so the one below us can load, and so on -






Stuck at the peak, we get a birds-eye view. The setting sun creates peach, mauve, and midnight blue hues. Glistening stringed lights of sapphire, emerald, ruby, and gold crisscross the grounds. Suddenly, my hair flies up and my stomach drops, then settles back in as it grows accustomed to the whirling sensation. For just a moment, I close my eyes and relish the breeze.

Marie Elena

Thursday, July 14, 2011


A romp through new digs.
It figures I end up a lone wolf
when the cub heads out. There
is no doubt that she will succeed.
Indeed, she will set the pace
in this place of higher learning.
Yearning to be free, it is she
who will stand tall. I should have known
this bird has flown. Empty nest and all.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Success through kinship
Volleying across the ‘net
Aiming to advance

Marie Elena

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Two shadows at play.
collaborative effort,
success through kinship.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011


together they play
as the sun shines brilliantly
casting two shadows

Marie Elena

Monday, July 4, 2011


Brava! Marie Elena for placing a poem in the 21st place of the 2011 April PAD. You are coming into your own as a masterful poet, and I couldn't be more proud. Pleased that you can carry the torch for all lake dwellers and relieve me of the pressure of poetic excellence. Continue to grow and express in the manner to which I have become accustomed. I'll catch you around the beach and in the garden.!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011


We each pay our dime,
And enter the theater.
We are greeted with
   Air conditioning,
   The luscious scent
      Of unaffordable popcorn,
   And deafening previews
      Of coming attractions.

We also find we are the only ones

We do what any going-into-third-grade-r would do.

We sit in the balcony.

Then the front row, center.

Then you move to the back, and I stay put

And we wave and yell echoed hellos

And laugh

And laugh

And laugh.

We laugh at Laurel and Hardy,
But we mostly laugh
At the sheer fun of being.

Cousins are cousins.
Or strangers.
Or friends.
But you are the brother
I never had.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I hear it in the darkness of a dream filled sleep,
my Father’s voice. Reassuring. Comforting.
Directing my every step in choreographed
mimicry of his own journey. I feel a hand
placed lovingly on a shoulder slouched
and weary from the burdens life provides.
It is an affirmation that my direction
is right and forward moving, all learned in the
spirit of his nearness. Nestled in this son’s heart,
respect and reverence are his, burnished
with love and temperament that his example set.
No regret comes with my genealogy.
I am my Father’s son. I will carry his torch.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


The CD recording of my chapbook, WOOD, is completed. It contains all poems from the book and included two bonus tracks, my "A Poet Sees Things" and a reading of Yehuda Amichai's "A Man In His Life" followed by my short story inspired by it entitled, "Procrasti-Nate".

The books and CDs are $10 each. If both are purchased together, the cost is $15 for the pair. Payment can be sent to:

Walt Wojtanik
c/o Hesse-Reynolds Sales
3372 North Benzing Road
Orchard Park, New York 14127

Please restate which item(s) you requested and I'll have them out ASAP. Again, thank you for your interest and support.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


There's that song.
All along I've held this animous,
an anonymous dislike for its root
that burrows into every furrow
of gray matter. Mad as a hatter
and twice as worn. I was not born
to listen incessantly to this melody.
And just when it appears to disappear,
I hear it. There's that song.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I have the books bound and ready. But, I've needed to re-recorded three of the poems for the CD which will include two bonus tracks of works not found in the printed version. I have had an unsavory experience with Pay-Pal and am resistant to use this function for payment. A check or money order will satisfy all conditions. The books and CDs are $10 each. If both are purchased together, the cost is $15 for the pair. Payment can be sent to:

Walt Wojtanik
c/o Hesse-Reynolds Sales
3372 North Benzing Road
Orchard Park, New York 14127

Please restate which item(s) you requested, and your mailing address and I'll have them out ASAP. The CDs orders will not be delayed at all. Thank you for your interest and support.


Thursday, June 2, 2011


I stole the following from my prolific and terrific BlogPal:

"After three years of intensive poem composing, I've finally found my nerve to compile my first collection of poems into the limited edition chapbook entitled, WOOD. The inspiration for WOOD was two-fold. Of the poems included, the majority is about my Father who was a very skilled carpenter. It is fitting that Dad worked his mastery of woods while I have developed a mastery of words. Along, with that connection, we lived at 76 Wood Street.

I had gotten a bit ambitious in offering 31 poems in this collection, but strung together, they actually tell the story of my relationship with my Father and that place near the Erie Tracks where we lived and grew up.

I will initially be releasing a limited run (76 copies) of the First Edition of WOOD. I plan on also issuing an audio CD of a reading of the book. The price of either will be $10. However, the combo will be made available together for a special $15 price. Further information will be posted soon. Anyone interested can submit their queries to Walt at wojisme@roadrunner.com with the subject line "Interest in Your Chapbook.”

Number 1 has my name on it. 

Marie Elena

Saturday, May 28, 2011


My sincerest appreciation for those who gave their lives for our country, and their families:

Democrat to Republican

Evangelical to Atheist

Conservative to Liberal

Officer to Private

Reform to Libertarian

Americans, ALL

Tea Party to Progressive

Independent to Green

Objectivist to Prohibition

National Heroes, ALL

Marie Elena

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Sound: rhythmic clicking
Scent: smoldering, blazing flames

Marie Elena 

Write on, Partner!